State Leaders Offer Resources For International Paper Employees

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LAWRENCE COUNTY, Ala. (WHNT) -The closing of International Paper sent shock waves through Lawrence County and surrounding areas.

Employees and their families are still reeling from the news.

Alabama Speaker of the House, Mike Hubbard and Representative Ken Johnson addressed the plant closure and offered some hope to the people affected.

The law makers say a "rapid response team" will start meeting with people next week to inform them of the lay-off stages, and what they need to do now to be ready for new work, when that time comes.

"We may not be able to control the decision in the board room, but we are going to do our best to control the factors we can," said Representative Johnson.

Johnson says the Department of Labor also plans to step in, to facilitate training opportunities.

Alabama Speaker of the House Mike Hubbard promises to do his part to bring new jobs to the area.  He says it’s a mission that has been put on the fast track, since this massive lay-off announcement.

"This area now has gone to the top of the list as far as introducing companies to this area because there is a workforce, there is a site that will be available and again it's a good pro-business environment we have here," said Hubbard.

The speaker of the house says he will also be an advocate for incentives for current businesses, because according to Hubbard, 80 percent of new jobs are created by existing industries.

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